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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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Three held for rhino killings

Three held for rhino killings | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

NORTH WEST - Eyewitness News understands three men were arrested for killing eight rhino at a North West game reserve.

 

Seven of the eight rhino were dehorned.

 

The attack took place over the weekend and drew outrage because the animals were badly mutilated.

 

Rhino Action Group Effort spokesperson Pelham Jones said a private detective followed-up on information received from an informant.

 

This resulted in Monday morning’s arrests.

 

“We took the information we had to the North West organised crime unit, which led to the raids.”

Jones said the suspects, believed to be foot soldiers, would appear in court on Wednesday.

 

The hunt for those who hired them continues.

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VIDEO: 3rd Degree: Busting the illegal rhino horn trade

3rd Degree with Debora Patta and Julian Rademeyer exposes the illegal rhino horn trade.
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Wildlife Advocates We Must Prove Chris Mercer Wrong!

Wildlife Advocates We Must Prove Chris Mercer Wrong! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

As always Animal Welfare Activist Chris Mercer tells it like it is. Asia’s illegal wildlife trade driving African wildlife species to extinction.

 

Let’s prove Chris Mercer wrong. Let’s show him that we do care, that we can change and that we will stop the looting of Africa’s wildlife, endangered, threatened and all species from extinction.

 

What the Chumlong case has exposed about trophy hunting, wildlife trafficking and international crime syndicates…

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/wildlife-advocates-we-must-prove-chris-mercer-wrong ;

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"Killing for Profit" New Book takes you behind the scenes

"Killing for Profit" New Book takes you behind the scenes | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Video and sneak peek provided by Julian Rademeyer the author

 

Book available for kindle and hard copy via Amazon

 

http://zebra.bookslive.co.za/blog/2012/11/13/rhino-horn-smuggler-investigated-in-julian-rademeyers-killing-for-profit-gets-40-year-sentence/ ;

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N West officials accused of issuing illegal permits to rhino poachers

N West officials accused of issuing illegal permits to rhino poachers | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The Democratic Alliance has accused North West officials of issuing illegal permits to rhino poachers. The DA leader in the province, Chris Hattingh, told the legislature that of the 179 permits issued, 141 were illegal, including one issued to poaching kingpin Chumlong Lemthongthai....

 

The MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Motlalepula Rosho says the department will ask the police to follow up the allegations of government involvement in rhino poaching.

 

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Appeals to Community Pays Off: Rhino Poachers Caught

Appeals to Community Pays Off: Rhino Poachers Caught | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

An appeal for communities on the borders of Kruger National Park to supply information about rhino poaching paid off at the weekend when a joint police operation saw a suspect killed, another wounded and two arrested.

 

This brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with charges pertaining to various links of the rhino poaching chain this year to 214. The province where the largest number of arrests have been made is Mpumalanga, which Kruger straddles.

 

“Members of the Hawks and the police task force were acting on intelligence when they came across a gang of four in the Sabi Sand private game reserve at the weekend headed in the direction of Skukuza in the Kruger National Park,” spokesperson Capt Pail Ramaloko said.

 

“The joint police team confronted the four men, one of who immediately opened fire with a .375 rifle. The police returned fire killing one of the suspected poachers and wounding another before the remaining two were taken into custody.”

 

The rifle, an axe and saw apparently intended to remove horns from any rhino they would have managed to kill were confiscated as well as a vehicle. The wounded suspect is under heavy police guard in hospital, which could not be named for “security reasons”. All three face charges of attempted murder and possession of dangerous weapons. Further investigation and questioning is under way in an attempt to link them to other rhino poaching incidents.

 

In April, members of the Matsulu community close to Kruger’s Malelane gate showed their willingness to be part of anti-poaching efforts. They identified a suspected poacher and notified Kruger personnel. While waiting for a helicopter to arrive the suspect made a getaway attempt which was thwarted by locals.

 

“Matsulu people told us they were ‘sick and tired’ of this type of criminal activity happening in and around their community and were only too happy to have aided in a successful arrest,” Kruger spokesperson William Mabasa said at the time.

 

Since then, Kruger officials have been in contact with a number of communities and villages on the park’s western border spreading the anti-poaching message and urging people to supply information to police and the park. – 701176

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DA asks public protector to investigate North West environmental officials

DA asks public protector to investigate North West environmental officials | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Democratic Alliance asks Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to look into whether provincial environmental officials should be probed over fraudulent rhino hunting permits...

 

DA water and environmental affairs spokesman Gareth Morgan said he had approached Ms Madonsela on Friday because "it is time that officials in the North West department of economic development, environment, conservation and tourism are also held to account for their role in awarding permits for pseudo hunts in 2010 and 2011. Government officials were at the start of the chain that resulted in illegally gotten horns getting into the hands of Lemtongthai."

 

Mr Morgan said the national Department of Environmental Affairs had already acknowledged the problems in the North West department, which had prompted a tightening up of the processes for awarding permits, and had resulted in an effective moratorium on the awarding of permits to nationals from Vietnam...

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Clinton says US to increase anti-poaching efforts

NAIROBI, Kenya — Alarmed that rebel militias could be profiting from a sharp increase in the poaching of elephants and rhinos, the U.S. plans to step up efforts to build a global coalition to combat the illegal wildlife trade, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says.

Speaking before animal activists and several international ambassadors, Clinton told a crowd in Washington on Thursday that poachers are using helicopters, night vision goggles and automatic weapons to hunt down wildlife. She wants world leaders to increase their focus on combating the problem and said that she and President Barack Obama will speak to Asian leaders about it next week at the East Asia Summit.

 

"Some of you might be wondering why a Secretary of State is keynoting an event about wildlife trafficking and conservation," Clinton said on Thursday, before answering her own question: "Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread and more dangerous than ever before."

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Rhino Poaching: Is Chumlong the Sacrificial Lamb?

Rhino Poaching: Is Chumlong the Sacrificial Lamb? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Finally someone convicted for rhino poaching, illegal trade, wildlife trafficking… or was it?

 

The conviction of Chumlong for hunting rhino to legally access their horns has been very prominent in the news recently. Most everyone is cheering, “Finally a conviction!” However, s Chumlong the sacrificial lamb while the real poachers, illegal traders and wildlife traffickers go free?

 

Chris Mercer, well known animal welfare activist and founder of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting puts the situation in a very thought provoking perspective....

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/rhino-poaching-is-chumlong-the-sacrificial-lamb ;

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7 rhino horns seized at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport

7 rhino horns seized at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Noi Bai airport customs officers have found and seized seven rhino horn hidden in the luggage of two passengers who arrived from Qatar. Meanwhile, three parts of a horn suspected to be from a rhino have been detained in Quang Ninh Province....

 

The two men had taken Flight QR610 from Doha, Qatar to Hanoi that day.

 

Neither Chien or Than had reported the horns in their customs declaration sheets submitted to Noi Bai airport customs, and when the horns were exposed, they failed to show an import license for the horns or any documents about their origin.

 

The horns weighed 23.5 kg in total and were wrapped in many layers of plastic and silver papers.

 

Before wrapping the horn with those materials, Than and Chien had used garlic to cover the surface of each horn to reduce the natural scent of the horn and avoid detection by police dogs, customs offers said.

 

Officials detained the passports of the two traffickers and sent the horns to the Vietnam Science and Technology Institute for testing to determine which species of rhino they had belonged to.

 

The total value of the horns is estimated at tens of billions of dong (VND1 billion = US$48,000)....

 

On the early morning of November 7, traffic police in northern Quang Ninh Province caught N.N.T. of Hanoi’s Thanh Tri District with three sections of a horn suspected to be that of a rhino on a train travelling on the Hanoi-Cam Pha route.

 

The sections, weighing about 3 kg in total, were hidden in T.’s backpack.

 

T confessed to police that he had been hired by a friend of his, who was identified simply as D, to bring the horn parts to Quang Ninh’s Cam Pha Town for VND2 million (US$96)....

 

 

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State wants 260 years for man behind rhino killings

State wants 260 years for man behind rhino killings | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The state wants the Kempton Park Regional Court to impose a stiff sentence on confessed rhino horn trade kingpin Chumlong Lemtongthai.
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Hope and heartbreak for rhinos

Hope and heartbreak for rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Johannesburg -The sharp rays of the North West sun bore down on the vegetation at the Madikwe Game Reserve as if to punish it. The soil and everything around it was bone dry.

 

There was no sign of life.

 

In a clearing, just past a small thorn tree, unfolded a scene that would make hardened police officers and conservation activists shed a tear or two.

 

As our truck approached, the full horror of rhino poaching, one of the fastest rising crimes in South Africa, hit us right between the eyes....

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Poaching: Molewa calls for harsh sentence

Johannesburg - A Thai national convicted of illegally trading in and exporting rhino horn should be punished harshly, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Tuesday.

 

Chumlong Lemthongthai pleaded guilty to all charges against him in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday. In a statement read by his lawyer Terry Price, Lemthongthai said he realised he was acting unlawfully, contravening the Customs and Excise Act, and committing fraud.

 

He pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining hunting permits that led to the illegal exportation of nearly 26 rhino horns. He was arrested in 2011 and denied bail. He had been in custody since then. His co-accused Marnus Steyl, out on R100,000 bail, also appeared in court on Monday.

 

Molewa lauded the country's law enforcement agencies and the SA Revenue Services in fighting poaching, the department said in a statement. A total of 222 people had been arrested for rhino poaching and related activities since the beginning of 2012.

 

South Africa had lost 528 rhinos to poachers in 2012. The Kruger National Park remained the hardest hit, having lost a total of 320 rhino since the beginning of 2012.

 

The department said it had introduced revised norms and standards for the marking of rhino horn, and for the hunting of rhino for trophy purposes. This saw the introduction of stricter controls for the granting of trophy hunting permits in South Africa.

 

“Should there be a clear abuse or absolute collapse in any of these controls or of provincial permitting systems, then the minister of water and environmental affairs reserves the right to institute a moratorium on hunting of rhinoceros,” the department said.

 

The new norms and standards stipulated that hunting applicants had to submit proof of membership to a recognised hunting association. Members were only allowed to hunt one white rhino per year. The hunt had to be accompanied by an environmental management inspector, or an official of the issuing authority.

 

The official accompanying the hunt had to take DNA samples of the rhino horn and fit it with a microchip.

 

The minister warned that individuals found guilty of abusing the hunting permit system would be severely dealt with. - Sapa

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Kenya: Rescued Baby Rhino Dies

The 16-month old rhino orphan taken in by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy at the beginning of this month has died. The calf was rescued after its mother was killed by poachers on the adjacent Ol Jogi ranch.

 

The baby rhino succumbed to gunshots wounds on its lower jaw yesterday despite being under a 24-hour surveillance. The Kenya Wildlife Service is still searching for the poachers....

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November 15 2012 Rhino Poaching Stats

November 15 2012 Rhino Poaching Stats | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Image source Jacqueline De Villiers via Facebook

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549 rhino poached this year - no end in sight

549 rhino poached this year - no end in sight | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The number of rhinos poached this month could hit a new high despite the best efforts of authorities, MPs hear.

 

"So far [this year]... we have lost more than 500 rhino. [As of] yesterday [Monday], the figure was at 549... The problem is still increasing," environmental affairs deputy director-general Fundisile Mketeni said.

 

Responsible for biodiversity and conservation in his department, Fundisile was briefing members of Parliament's environmental affairs portfolio committee.

 

According to figures tabled at Tuesday's briefing, there has been a sharp increase in poaching activity in recent months. They show 25 rhino were illegally killed for their horns in June this year.

 

This rose to 49 in July, 63 in August, 62 in September, and 75 last month. So far this month, 40 rhino have been killed....

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Battle in KZN as to who can and should protect the Rhino

Battle in KZN as to who can and should protect the Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Durban - Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has rejected a call for a specialised police unit to combat rhino poaching in the province, saying the number of rhinos poached in KwaZulu-Natal this year was not as high as other provinces.

 

Radley Keys, the DA’s KZN spokesman on conservation and environmental affairs, said Ezemvelo should concede defeat in the battle against poaching and hand over this task to a team “better equipped” to fight the scourge in the province.

 

He said the precautionary suspension of a senior Ezemvelo official, after investigations of the “Black September” rhino massacre in Zululand, was proof enough that the conservation body could no longer be regarded as a credible force in the fight against poaching.

The senior conservation manager was suspended by Ezemvelo on Friday....

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MEC urges citizens to stand against rhino poaching

MEC urges citizens to stand against rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Economic development, environment, conservation and tourism MEC Motlalepula Rosho has condemned rhino poaching and appealed to all citizens in the province to rally behind the cause to end the scourge of animal torture.

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Senior officer suspended over rhino massacre in KZN

Senior officer suspended over rhino massacre in KZN | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

KwaZulu-Natal - A senior conservation manager with more than 20 years experience has been suspended by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife following investigations into the “Black September” rhino massacre at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in Zululand.

 

With the investigation still ongoing, Ezemvelo’s executive director of operations Bheki Khoza confirmed the “precautionary suspension” on Friday of the senior staffer, one of the two most senior officials at the park.

 

“While no official charge has been laid as yet, evidence points to negligence [on his part] in carrying out his duties. Preliminary investigations reveal his absence during the terrible weekend period when rangers found seven carcasses poached at Hluhluwe.

 

“We are constantly focusing on our levels of security, management skills and diligence within the park” he said.

 

On September 21, rangers carrying out a reconnaissance flight over the southern corridor of the park found seven carcasses that would turn out to be the worst single poaching massacre in the park’s history.

 

Two more carcasses were found later at other locations.

 

It is believed some of the carcasses had been lying in the bush for as long as 45 days, while others had been poached between three days and two weeks before being found.

 

Three carcasses were found close to the reserve’s corridor road, apparently shot with the same weapon....

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SPOTS co-founder Peter Milton talks about anti-poaching operations

SPOTS co-founder Peter Milton talks about the challenges he is facing during his anti-poaching operations. You can find more information on www.spotsinternat...
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Who is the Rhinos' REAL Enemy?

Who is the Rhinos' REAL Enemy? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

WildlifeMargrit:

In this thought provoking article Chris Mercer addresses a less understood enemy.

http://www.nikela.org/blog/rhino-poaching-is-chumlong-the-sacrificial-lamb ;

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The animal nobody wants to keep

The animal nobody wants to keep | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
EWN’s Matshidiso Madia spends sometime at Haartzhoogte lodge where 11 rhino were poached in the space of 6 weeks...

 

In South Africa anti-poaching groups, breeders and government are in a losing global battle against rhino poachers – the number of rhinoceros’ killed by poachers has escalated from 13 in 2007, to 528 in the first eleven months of 2012.

 

For many rhino farmers like Spamer and Haartzhoogte owner Braam Van Greuning’s family, this attack signals an ending - an end to the relationship they had with all 29 rhino, an end to watching the calves fill up the reserve’s watering hole and wandering into the camp sites. It also signals the end to a much needed breeding programme that helped increase the numbers of a dying species....

 

Until someone comes up with a viable plan of action, South Africa and the rest of the continent will remain on a slippery slope towards a world with only the big four to show off.

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Rhino poaching: more arrests expected

Rhino poaching: more arrests expected | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife believes efforts to track down rhino poachers in the province will lead to more arrests soon.
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Rhino poaching getting worse - the Park Stats

Rhino poaching getting worse - the Park Stats | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

More than 500 rhino have been killed by poachers so far in 2012
November 2012. Just when it seemed that it couldn't get much worse, it did. At least 15 rhino have been dehorned by poachers, of which at least 10 have died and the remaining 5 are very ill. Most of the rhinos were tranquilised before having their horns cut off.

 

Additionally, two calves of some of the rhinos that were attacked have gone missing, it is assumed that they have wondered off into the bush without their mothers, and are unlikely to survive.

 

On the Hartzhoogte Hunting Reserve nine rhinos were killed and three dehorned by poachers; additionally two rhino calves have not been seen since. As a consequence the owners of Hartzhoogte have moved all their surviving rhinos from the farm.

 

In a separate incident on a game farm in South Africa's Eastern Cape, three rhino were tranquilised and dehorned; one of the rhinos died and the others were very poorly.

 

More than 500 rhinos killed already in 2012


By the latest count, South Africa has lost a total of 528 rhinos to poachers since the beginning of 2012; the Kruger National Park remains the hardest hit, having lost a total of 320 rhino.

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, November 8, 2012 9:09 AM
This is the terrible news - I think most of us hoped that we would never reach the 500 mark ... But we have!! What is going to happen. Court cases are thrown out, charges being dropped - with the exception of Chumlong and we don't know what sentence he his going to receive yet!!! Heaven help our Rhino because our Government certainly is doing enough for them!
Lyn du Plessis's comment, November 8, 2012 9:10 AM
Sorry, is NOT doing enough for them!!!
Wildlife Margrit's comment, November 8, 2012 8:50 PM
Agreed!
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‘Authorities failed to catch rhino poachers’

‘Authorities failed to catch rhino poachers’ | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
NORTH WEST - Management at the Hartzhoogte Game Farm in the North West on Monday said the recent poaching of 11 rhinos on the property could have been avoided.


Nine of the animals were killed, and three more de-horned in the past six weeks.

 

Management said the reserve alerted the authorities about the threat of poaching months before they found the first rhino carcass.

 

Hunting manager Jack Sparma said they saw two or three unknown men entering their 8,000-hectare farm from its southern point several times.

 

“We were told there was going to be an operation to stop these people from coming in and out of the ranch, and it never happened. I believe all of this comes from that.”

 

He believes the men had been scoping out the area before returning to kill the animals.

 

Sparma said the nature conservation authorities could have caught the poachers, but failed to show up after promising to return the week after it alerted them.

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